After nine months of sweet waiting, you have the joy of having your baby in your arms and the most important thing right now for you is to take care of him and show him all your love.
Having your baby has become one of the most beautiful and exciting moments for you, but also one of great physical and emotional challenges you were not yet prepared for.
After giving birth, it is very important to take care of our body and its recovery.
After delivery, every woman needs six weeks for her body to recover from the changes of pregnancy, so now more than ever you need to take care of yourself, rest, and not hesitate to ask for help.
Far from what many first timers may think, postpartum is not only reduced to the moment you have just given birth and you are in the hospital, on the contrary they are weeks and even months of changes and readjustments.
After having your baby, you leave all the discomforts that pregnancy brings with it, but there are also other physical and emotional difficulties that you have to face little by little, with special care and a lot of dedication.
The postpartum period and recovery may last several months and depends on the woman’s body.
In this beautiful and agitated stage you will have the happiness of having your baby in your arms and at the same time the challenge of many obstacles to overcome such as insecurities, tiredness, worries, medical visits, sleep …
For these and other reasons, it is important that you know some basic postpartum care so that you can recover calmly at home, always respecting your own rhythm and the limitations indicated by your body.
We tell you what happens to your body during these 6 weeks and how you should be postpartum care so that everything goes well with you and your baby.
9 Basic postpartum care for recovery after having your baby
During the six weeks following childbirth, there will be many readjustments in your body, both physical and emotional that will leave you a little resentful and fatigued. Your whole body will gradually revert all those changes that occurred during pregnancy back to being the same as before.
And the effort you make to bring a baby into the world is a very natural process that requires some special postpartum care in the body after delivery and also during lactation, in order to recover energy and strength faster than expected.
Taking care of yourself will help you enjoy your baby and give him the best care in a healthier and happier way.
Below we tell you all the changes your body will go through and all the basic postpartum care you should follow, as well as giving you practical advice to minimize discomfort.
The postpartum stage is a little exhausting and that is why it is important that women also know the importance of taking care of themselves for this stage.
- Postpartum hygiene care for loquios
One of the most notorious things you will experience after giving birth is the appearance of loquios.
The well-known loquios are a vaginal discharge of tissue and blood found in your uterus during pregnancy that you must expel from your body shortly after you get home. These blood losses may appear in the first 3 or 4 days postpartum and last up to 15 days approximately.
At first they may be abundant but as the days go by they will decrease until they become scarcer.
It is a fairly natural and healthy process for women so it’s just a matter of maintaining good hygiene from the beginning, it‘s recommended that you wash your intimate area 3 to 5 times a day, with water and neutral soap in addition to drying the area with a soft and clean towel.
It is also important to use female pads instead of tampons, because loquios do not have to stay in the vagina.
Follow these advices and in a few days the loquios will be more and more scarce, so you will no longer have to use the postpartum compresses but the normal ones that you always use. Remember to consult your doctor if in doubt.
- Breastfeeding for postpartum contractions
During the first few weeks after having your baby, you will feel some cramping that will decrease in intensity as the days go by.
These are normal contractions that occur because the uterus contracts to return to its normal size. Normally they appear when the baby is breastfed, because in this process hormones are secreted that contract the uterus.
These contractions, known as miscarriages, are a little painful but their intensity will depend on whether you are new or not, since they tend to be more painful in women who have already had children.
As annoying as they are, they are very necessary because they will make your uterus return to the dimensions you had before pregnancy, in about ten days.
In order to help seal the blood vessels, you should start breastfeeding as soon as possible, as breast stimulation helps the contractions do their job correctly.
Contractions occur in order to return the uterus to its previous state.
- Sleep and rest to recover energy
Although it is true that the arrival of your baby brings a lot of happiness, taking care of him and feeding him consumes a lot of time and energy and that can also make you feel very exhausted in this postpartum stage.
The first few nights with your baby will be very exhausting as you are still used to your baby and his breastfeeding and sleep schedules.
We recommend that you synchronize with your baby and sleep when your baby does.
Rest as much as possible during the first days of your postpartum period is extremely important for you to feel good and be able to overcome these weeks with a lot of energy and vitality.
If all you want to do is eat, sleep and take care of your baby, that’s fine as these are days to take care of yourself and rest.
Remember to ask for help from your family and everyone around you, because the work involved in having a baby at home is very big and can make you feel even weaker.
It is vital for the recovery of the mother, to adapt sleep to the moments of rest that the baby has.
- Elevate your legs for swelling
This symptom was also part of your pregnancy, but after giving birth, the feeling of swollen legs and feet will return and this time it will last a little longer. To reduce swelling there is no better remedy than to keep your feet elevated whenever possible, especially when you are lying in your bed.
If you are suffering from this inconvenience, we recommend reading Swollen Legs After Childbirth: Causes and Tricks to Avoid Them!
- Gentle walks for constipation
Because of the constipation you may have had during pregnancy, your belly may be a little swollen, and if you add to that the vaginal dots, you may feel pain when you go to the bathroom.
In fact, many times constipation is due to the fear that many women may have of going to the bathroom and causing them pain. Ideally, don’t wait too long and go to the bathroom when you have to, otherwise the stool can accumulate and harden.
Not going to the bathroom during the first few days after childbirth is considered very normal, but if three or four days have passed, one can already speak of constipation in the postpartum period.
In order to avoid suffering from constipation and to go to the bathroom in complete tranquility, it is recommended to walk very slowly because this will stimulate the intestinal transit and the return of your body to normality.
it is also very important that you drink plenty of water and eat fresh fruits and vegetables rich in fiber.
If, for some reason, your nerves betray you and you can’t find a way to go to the bathroom, you can ask your doctor to prescribe a laxative or stool softeners that are compatible with breastfeeding, to facilitate intestinal transit.
If in spite of everything, the problem of constipation is prolonged for many more days consult with your doctor, he will know what to do.
- Postpartum care in case of stitches or episiotomy
In addition to all the effort we must go through during labor, we may have to have an episiotomy. Vaginal stitches or episiotomy are a cut or wound that is made at the level of the perineum in order to prevent a tear during the expulsion phase.
This wound that many women suffer can leave us a little sore and worried at the same time, because as any wound is usually annoying and must be well cared for so that it is not infected and healed as soon as possible.
It is therefore important that, before leaving the hospital, we ask how to do it correctly for when we are at home. In any case, episotomy care is easy and painless and if you worry about doing it correctly you will avoid discomfort and infections.
For the proper cure of the episiotomy stitches, you will need to apply some ice wrapped in a cloth over the episiotomy wound to lower the inflammation and an ointment, which will probably also have been placed in the hospital, for two or three times a day to improve circulation.
It is also important that we shower daily with warm water and neutral soap to keep the scar clean and dry, using a soft towel and making small touches. Another tip that may help is to take a ten-minute break every hour, so that blood does not accumulate in the area with the consequent discomfort.
Stitches in the episiotomy site (incision) are spontaneously reabsorbed. This process can begin four days after delivery.
- Postpartum care due to milk let-down
We know that breastfeeding your baby when you’re a new mother can fill you with fears and doubts, and is that at first is not easy, because between the nerves, doubts and pain you may feel can scare you a little.
But don’t worry, a milk let-down is very normal, in fact it usually happens on the third or fourth day after giving birth and comes with a slight fever.
In those moments your breasts will fill so much that you will feel that they are going to explode, they will be very sore, hot and swollen.
To alleviate this uncomfortable feeling, we recommend that you place a cold, damp cloth on your breasts every time you feel pain, and make sure that your baby breastfeeds well as much as possible.
You can also express a little milk with a breast pump. This typical discomfort can last for a few days until your milk production has normalized according to your baby’s schedule.
Maternal lactation not only has nutritional benefits for the baby, but also helps the mother lose weight faster.
- Exercises to regain weight
Although it is common for us to feel anxious to begin an exercise routine and recover our figure as soon as possible, the best thing is to enjoy our baby and give ourselves time for our body to recover and gradually return to its former physical state.
Remember that it is only from 14 days after childbirth that you can begin to perform activities, as long as you maintain the rest times during the day.
The exercises you can do after childbirth to keep you a little more active are, above all, gentle walks inside the house, increasing your trajectory with longer walks in the open air.
Exercise routines are not recommended before three months after childbirth.
Exercise routines should not be started before three months after childbirth or cesarean section, so be patient and respect your body’s time.
When that important time has passed, you can try swimming as it is one of the most beneficial and complete exercises. In the case of the abdominals, it is better to wait the time required for the scar to be strong and not cause any problems.
- Balanced power supply to replenish energies
Feeding in this period is as important as in pregnancy so while you are breastfeeding your baby, it is very important to maintain a balanced diet, only then you can recover energy and guarantee your baby the nutrients, defense cells and water you need so much to grow healthy and strong.
To ensure a good lactation to your little one, you should eat foods that provide protein, vitamins and carbohydrates.
As far as liquids are concerned, it is highly recommended that you drink natural fruit juices and milk, as this way you will also be able to obtain all the vitamins that you and your baby need.
Remember that in both lactation and pregnancy the important thing is not to eat for two, but to take care of oneself for two.
Mom’s emotions after childbirth
Postpartum care goes beyond the physical changes you may go through, having your baby generates strong emotions and mixed feelings ranging from happiness through fears and doubts to sad feelings.
All the experiences and changes you have to make to take care of your baby can make you feel very exhausted and sleepless.
You may experience greater sensitivity such as spontaneous crying or times when you feel lonely or with slightly hurt self-esteem.
All of these emotions are normal and very understandable in the postpartum period, however, when you present yourself more intensely with anxiety, fear, sadness, insomnia, listlessness, you should ask your partner for help and consult a doctor, as it may be a postpartum depression.
If you experience an excess of negative emotions or listlessness it is best to consult a professional as you could be suffering from postpartum depression.
Remember to give yourself a little time to get used to it and you will see how everything is going to take a calmer course and a rhythm more in tune with you that will help you stay more emotionally stable.
Rest, take the time you need and ask for help from those who love you will make you feel more relieved and happy.
Post-partum care is important for a full and prompt recovery.
In addition to worrying about taking care of your baby, protecting him or her and pampering him or her at all times, you need to take special care of your body after delivery and during breastfeeding.
If you follow all of these 9 basic postpartum care, you can regain all of your energy and strength to be a healthy mom.
Remember that if you take care of yourself on these important days, you will be able to give your baby all the love and attention he needs from you.
If you have any inconvenience during this stage of postpartum recovery, do not hesitate to consult your doctor.